Updates from College of Health Sciences




Environmental Health: A Key Public Health Intervention in Disease Pandemic Prevention

World Environmental Health Day is observed annually on September 26th in many countries around the globe. It was established by the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) Council and inaugurated in 2011 in Indonesia. This particular day focuses on all physical, chemical, and biological factors that can potentially affect our health, and on their assessment and control. Its main aim is to prevent disease and create health-supportive environments.

A particular theme is announced every year by the IFEH, which organizes various activities to bring public attention to environmental health problems. It calls on cooperation between countries to participate in these events, to disseminate knowledge, and promote public awareness to improve the environmental health situation of our planet.

This year’s theme is ‘Environmental health: A key public health intervention in disease pandemic prevention.’ The theme focuses on the role that Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) play in disaster preparedness and response, and the implementation of infectious disease preventive measures, especially those related to global pandemics (H1N1 flu, cholera, SARS, etc.).

In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 disease a global pandemic affecting more than 216 countries worldwide with around 30,000,000 confirmed cases, including approximately 943,000 deaths. This pandemic is far more than a health crisis as it is impacting societies and economies at their core, changing our habits and the way we live. It has also tested the healthcare systems in many counties. This pandemic has highlighted the pivotal role that EHPs play in facing the challenges resulting from COVID-19, protecting our communities, and making a big difference to the public’s health and wellbeing. Therefore, all public and private related organizations, groups, and governments should set up initiatives and events that raise public awareness on the importance of all environmental health aspects that keep us healthy and safe and reduce health inequalities. On World Environmental Health Day, let us appreciate the gift of good health and strive towards making the planet a better, healthy place for all.



Nisreen Alwan, PhD

College of Health Sciences

Abu Dhabi University

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